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Why Digital Loves Print - Cutting Through the Digital Noise

While the web is what keeps today’s world spinning, we know it can be all-consuming, distracting and incredibly overwhelming at times.  

So much so that there’s now an official term for that feeling of fatigue, anxiety or confusion we experience when faced with a constant stream of data - step forward ‘digital overload’.  

Just like anything that’s overworked, our brains can only compute so much information at a time before we slow down or switch off from what’s in front of us altogether. And so, while online advertising can offer jacket-pot style scope on the surface, its messages might not make it beyond the screen.  

This is where the power of print can help. Cutting through that digital noise, it delivers your offering directly to the doorstep of your target audience AND strikes up a relationship with its tangible good looks and trusted nature.   

Infinitive Info Flow  

A whopping 90% of UK adults are online, devoting around 24 hours of their week to scrolling and surfing. That equates to one whole day a week, so of course, you’re going to want a stake in this ‘where-the-party’s-at’ space.  

Problem is, every other business, marketer, and organisation wants a piece of the cyber pie, leading to overflowing inboxes, online ad tsunamis and pop-up after pop-up.  

In fact, research shows that in just 60 seconds, more than 149,000 emails are sent, 65,000+ Instagram photos are uploaded, and 3.3 million Facebook posts are published. Moreover, going by the current rate of data creation, The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, the world will produce 463 billion gigabytes of data in ONE single day. Quite literally mind-blowing, right?!  

This is precisely why we have to bear in mind the perceived information available online versus the amount of information one person can actually onboard. Plus, users are now actively dialling down the digital noise for themselves by introducing tools such as spam filters and ad-blockers, thus putting yet another hurdle between advert and audience.   

The Trust Factor  

Add to the web fake news, clickbait and sophisticated scams, and you’ve not only got a noisy and increasingly-crowded digital space but a potentially disingenuous one, too, with online ads’ credibility often thrown into question.  

This uncertainty, coupled with digital overload fatigue, is said to have contributed to a resurgence in physical and nostalgic information sources - like print! - that provide comfort, escapism and, ultimately, trust.  

Consumer behaviour following the turbulence of the pandemic backs this theory up, with Nielsen BookScan reporting a 3% increase in UK book sales in 2021 compared to 2020 resulting in book sales topping £1.8bn for the first year on record.  

It’s also been well-documented that consumers feel far more valued when targeted via mail than email, making it clear that using trustworthy and credible channels is an essential part of wooing and winning over potential customers.   

It Takes Two  

We’re not suggesting replacing digital with print altogether but blending the two for an essential marketing mix that achieves reach, engagement and action.  

Given the scores of internet users worldwide, advertising online is, without doubt, a great way to find and capture an audience's attention, but, according to the research, print is what instils trust, builds brand awareness and ultimately triggers a response.  

Recent studies have found:  

  • Consumers who saw branded mail first had 30% more dwell time on its social media ads. 
  • Memory encoding to social media advertising was 44% higher when people had seen mail first.  
  • Long-term memory encoding is strongly linked to decision-making and purchase intent.
  • 31% of addressed advertising mail results in a commercial action.

Moreover, looking back at five years of tracking data, JICMAIL reports a monumental 60% increase in the proportion of mail prompting advertiser website visits, providing further evidence that mail triggers an increasing blend of digital and physical responses.   

Commenting on the findings, Mark Cross, JICMAIL Engagement Director, said: “With the quality of engagement and interaction a pivotal challenge for all brand owners in a cluttered media ecosystem, these latest results show the stand-out levels achievable through mail across a full set of engagement and action KPIs, with the perceived value of mail in the home increasing. The 60% rise in digital journeys driven by mail over the last five years of JICMAIL data is a profound indicator of the change in relationships across physical mail and online experiences.”    

And so, in this digital-dominated age, it appears print provides a breath-of-fresh-air brand introduction that can be used to super-charge digital campaigns with the likes of exclusive discounts and QR codes driving traffic online.  

Better still, print’s trusting physical nature means it can further reinforce key messages whilst nurturing and strengthening consumer/brand relationships, helping tick boxes for customer growth and loyalty!   

Look out for more posts from our Why Digital Loves Print blog series, which highlights the power of integrating print into your digital marketing strategy for a winning cross-channel approach.